1999 Exemplary Program Initiative
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board
Fairfax County, VA
several months, PATH staff at Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services
Board (FFCCSB), Fairfax County, Virginia, worked with Sara, a homeless
woman with an organic condition, as well as a psychiatric disorder.
Over time, despite the persistent efforts of outreach workers, she
became less willing to seek out mental health services and more
unable to handle her basic needs, such as housing, nutrition and
medical care. Monitoring her safety on a regular basis, outreach
workers found Sara lying on a motel room floor, physically and psychologically
deteriorated. They arranged for emergency medical services and contacted
Adult Protective Services (APS). Sara is now recovering and APS
will find an assisted living placement to meet Sara's multiple needs.
It's this sort of persistent dedication to homeless people in Fairfax
County that led Joel Ford of the Virginia Office of Mental Health
Community Support Services to nominate FFCCSB as an exemplary PATH
program for FY 1999. "This program has consistently displayed
excellence in both program design and the delivery of PATH and other
related services. Their commitment to inclusive approaches, community-based
solutions, and strong, system-wide coordination is evident in the
successful outcomes that their clients experience," Ford said.
Mental Health and Housing Services
FFCCSB is one of 14 PATH-funded local providers in Virginia, receiving
$69,062 in PATH funding in FY 1999 - 10 percent of its total budget
for serving homeless people with serious mental illnesses. Using
PATH funding, FFCCSB employs three outreach therapists. Outreach
workers successfully engaged 457 of the 632 persons they contacted
in FY 1999.
FFCCSB offer the following housing services to its PATH clients:
- minor renovation, expansion or repair of housing;
- planning for housing;
- assistance in applying for housing;
- improving coordination of housing and services;
- security deposits;
- matching individuals with appropriate housing; and
- one-time rental payment to prevent eviction.
In addition, FFCCSB offers supportive or supervisory services in
residential settings, case management, screening and diagnostic
services, and community mental health.
FFCCSB works with an extensive network of local agencies, resulting
in an array of external services available to PATH clients that
includes: housing, health care, social services, food, clothing,
veteran's services, and emergency financial assistance. In addition,
the agency plays a crucial role in the development of its local
Continuum of Care plan, helping to meet the housing needs of homeless
persons with serious mental illnesses.
Family and Consumer Involvement
The agency's philosophy is, "Consumers tell us what their
needs are and how to best meet them." Thus, FFCCSB staff offer
assistance that is directed to client's needs, rather than offering
a "cookie-cutter" approach. Families of homeless persons
often contact staff to request consultation or intervention. When
clients request it, PATH staff help facilitate reconnection with
For more information about the Fairfax-Falls Church Community
Services Board, contact Whitney J. Henry at 703.866.2161, or Whitney.Henry@co.fairfax.va.us